The B&B Docket Blog:

Developments in the Dynamic World

of Business and Employment Law

When Personal or Financial Data Is Compromised – Act Fast! Data Breach Enforcement Action Leads To $110K Fine By The AG

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office (“AG”) recently announced that it had entered a consent judgment with Briar Group, LLC, a restaurant operator, due to Briar’s 2009 release of patron credit card information at the hands of computer hackers. Briar was notified of its data breach on October 29, 2009, but did not remove the ‘malware’ from its network until December…

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Hairdresser’s New Job Cut Short by Non-Compete

We discussed the general standards for enforcing non-compete agreements in a prior blog post. A recent decision from the Plymouth Superior Court highlights the fact-specific nature of the analysis in evaluating the enforceability of a non-compete agreement, and reinforces the risk to employees who carelessly enter such agreements with an employer. The Defendant, Daniel McKinnon, took a hair stylist position…

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Season Ticket Holder Sacked by Patriots’ Enforcement of Contractual Obligation in Ticket License Agreement

If you sign a contract in Massachusetts, the New England Patriots may be largely responsible for the enforceability of certain damages provisions set forth in the agreement, known as a “liquidated damages clause.” Liquidated damages clauses are designed to represent a reasonable forecast of damages expected to occur in the event of a breach, particularly where actual damages are difficult…

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Court Narrows Homeowners’ Ability to Obtain Relief Under Home Improvement Contractor Statute

Due to a recent shift in the judicial interpretation of the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor law, M.G.L. c. 142A (“the Act”), homeowners will no longer be able to recover triple damages and attorney’s fees for mere technical violations of the Act by a contractor, where those technical violations do not cause harm to the homeowner. The Act was designed to…

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MCAD Guidelines Are Not Laws, Rules Supreme Judicial Court

In a decision issued late last year, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled that guidelines issued by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) do not have the force of law.  Global NAPs, Inc. v. Awiszus, 457 Mass. 489 (2010). The Guidelines have widely been used by attorneys, workers, and employers to understand the scope and meaning of laws enforced by…

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FAILURE TO MAKE SEVERANCE PAYMENTS VIOLATES THE MASSACHUSETTS PAYMENT OF WAGES ACT

For the first time in a Massachusetts reported decision, Worcester Superior Court Judge, Dennis J. Curran, included severance pay in the definition of “wages” for purposes of the Massachusetts Payment of Wages Act (“the Act”).  In Juergens v. MicroGroup, Inc., an employee sought to enforce a severance agreement, successfully arguing that his severance pay qualified as “wages,” which would entitle…

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